Friday, 18 January 2019

Valued and Loved By God

Key Scripture – “Yet what honour you have given to men, created only a little lower than God, crowned like kings and queens with glory and magnificence. “- Psalm 8:5
Key Thought – “The transformation of our hearts and lives into a new life in God is rooted in the question, “How does my creator value me?”.”
The moment of our very first breath in this fragile world our earthly drama starts. So consuming is this amazing masterpiece called ‘My Life’ that we are quickly drawn into every action, every thought, every sense and in the maelstrom of every moment we quickly lose all sense of the innocence and wonder that was planted into our hearts. It is not long before we come to the place where the world around us takes over us and we lose the value of who we were created to be.
It is here far away from the truth of the value of our creation that we search for a place of security. And so we hide in the fortress of our own achievements, the value of our existence is summed up by how we measure our success, how much power we hold, how happy we feel inside. And if this value of our lives wasn’t complete we look around and compare ourselves to others, we weigh up our weaknesses, we equate our failures and we try to reason out why we are unhappy. Owning ourselves and equating it to the world gives us value that we can compare to everything around us.
And if this valuation of us is not to our liking, we can start all over again and create a new definition of ourselves. It is here in this valuation of ourselves that we make a fundamental error, when we value ourselves by what have, do, think or feel. In other words, we have valued our existence rooted in the earthy reality of all we see, feel, hear, touch and smell.
The transformation of our hearts and lives into a new life in God is rooted in the question, “How does my creator value me?” This question has the power to make us redefine our perspective of life and propel us to open up and walk through the open door of value and into the chamber of God’s desire to love us and delight in knowing him an intimacy beyond our wildest imagination.  And in doing this we align ourselves to His image of us, to His thoughts about us and to His imprint becoming the valuation of our lives.
The realisation of all He has created us to be, brings with it the freedom to be ourselves and live with confidence that we are valued and loved with God’s everlasting love.

Thursday, 17 January 2019

A Divine Nature

Key Scripture – “We also rejoice and exulting glory in God in his love and perfection through our Lord Jesus Christ through whom we have now received and enjoy our reconciliation” – Romans 5:11
Key Thought – “I have become a partaker of the divine nature.”
I am constantly perplexed by how hard it is for my heart to embrace what my mind affirms. The more I read, the more I listen, the more I see, everything that filters into my head, I find it easier to acknowledge and agree with ideas and thoughts but most of this usually is fodder for my mind.
The essence of who God is, if you like his glory and nature and all he has brought me into by his grace, has been birthed deep inside my innermost being. My heart is a garden of new creation soil, where the seed of Jesus Christ has been planted and watered by the Holy Spirit. Through his glory and goodness, he has given me all his precious and great promises. His words to me are a treasure map that contains his plans and dreams for my life, and I know that every word he has provided he will always be faithful to, it is always true and that he is committed to it.
For it is one thing to agree with the finished work of Christ but it is something altogether different to experience its power and reality in the everyday crisis of life.
So how does this finished work of Christ become reality in my life?
The starting point for me was the realisation that I have become a partaker of the divine nature.  That every promise of God had its fulfilment in Christ. That the ground of my heart was the fulfilled sacrifice of Christ and that everything pertaining to Christ had been planted into me.  The Holy Spirit alive me had cultivated a Garden of Delight within my heart and he was quietly, actively, effortlessly bringing my heart into blossom and ripening his fruit.
  • I now have a divine nature, and my old sinful nature died in Christ at the cross.
  • I had been made righteous and good,
  • I have God’s desires inside me,
  • I experience God’s delight within me,
  • I have a fountain of life bubbling up through me.
  • I had been set free from the slavery of the world,
  • I had been delivered form the corruption, decay and death that I inherited through my natural birth,
  • I am made eternal clean, holy and blessed through my spiritual birth into Christ.
I have been brought into the fullness of Christ and his abundant grace has set me free to live in intimate communion with the lover of my heart.

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Christ in you is Eternal Life

Key Scripture – “I tell you the truth, you will ask the Father directly, and he will grant your request because you use my name. You haven’t done this before. Ask, using my name, and you will receive, and you will have abundant joy.” – John 16 : 23-24
Key Thought – “Eternal life is the impartation of all the son is, not just living forever but joy, holiness, peace, hope, love, faith, strength, freedom, authority, kindness, wholeness, security, long-suffering, faithfulness, goodness, righteousness, purity, everything that is of Christ is now made in me.”
When you dig down into the very foundations of God, you will discover in the depths of his eternal character that God really is a good gift giver.
He gives gifts with no strings attached. Regardless of our performance, our actions, our works, our effort, no matter how disconnected we feel, he even doesn’t require us to do anything after we get them either, like improve or pray more or sacrifice all our plans and desires and commit ourselves to his cause or do good things to show how thankful we really are. His gifts are given free.
The most awesome gift that we have been given is eternal life.
This eternal life is ours in his son.  When we receive the son, we automatically have eternal life, and this life is made manifest inside of us, as the very life of Christ comes and dwells within us. This life is Christ’s life in all its fullness.
God who was before time, immeasurable and infinite the source of all life, the everlasting creator, the fountain of eternal life was glorified in the resurrected Christ and because God’s life is eternal, receiving the son is receiving eternal life.
The essence of God’s eternal life knows Christ. Our fragile, dust frames have become the home of the vast, glorious God. We have been made alive by the Holy Spirit and our finite frame is now immersed into the infinite God.
This gift of eternal life is the impartation of all the son is, not just living forever but joy, holiness, peace, hope, love, faith, strength, freedom, authority, kindness, wholeness, security, long-suffering, faithfulness, goodness, righteousness, purity, everything that is of Christ is now made in me.
How do i receive this free gift by simply seeing what is true and saying thank you.  Thanking God for all he has done for me makes it come alive in my experience and makes me come alive to God’s reality.
God’s grace is the realisation that everything is a gift from Christ, given because he loves me, because he is a good giver and he takes pleasure and delight in overwhelming his people with every good gift from his heart of love.

Monday, 14 January 2019

The Price Was Paid in Full

Key Scripture – “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” – Ephesians 2:10
Key Thought – “A radical change has taken place in you, Christ took your place and died as you, you are a new creation in Christ”
All of us, at some level, have a deep emotional need to be loved and to give love, and all of us, at different levels, have a desire to be accepted. But somehow the conflicts, suspicions, hurts of life invade our desires and our view on each other’s kindness, goodness and motives slowly becomes tainted.  Out of these dust and ashes of suspicion it becomes increasingly difficult to focus on something done for our good.
Mercy is a prism of God’s grace. For God so abundant in love is so rich in mercy, so overwhelmed with his kindness towards us, reached out to a world lost in sin and self-righteousness and poured himself upon us and in love withheld the punishment that our rebellion deserved.
We had fallen into the pig sty of life, we had chosen to eat in the slop and degradation of our self- effort and intelligence, and we had taken all the provision and beauty of heaven and squandered it on our own self pleasure. Cold, alienated, lost and alone in His mercy God reached out to us to embrace us, to cherish us and with his lavish goodness gave us a place of honour at his banqueting table, an inheritance provided for his own and a seat at his right hand in glory.
Christ paid in full for all our self-effort and self-justification. At the cross he eternally dealt with the sin that stains our hearts, once and forever all sin – past, present and future sins were forgiven in one ultimate, atoning act of sacrifice. The price was paid in full, so that it would never have to be repeated again.
We are free to walk in the righteousness of Christ because his righteousness has become our righteousness.  We are free to walk in the holiness of God because his holiness has become our holiness; we are free to walk in the faith of Christ because his faith has become our faith.
A radical change has taken place in you, Christ took your place and died as you, you are a new creation in Christ, you are seated in authority beside God, and you are showered with God’s kindness because you have entered into an eternal love relationship with God in Christ. And He overflows out of your life into good, loving, kind, generous acts that God initiates from the well of your heart.

Sunday, 13 January 2019

Let Delight Fill Your Heart

Key Scripture – “Delight in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” – Psalm 37:4
Key Thought  – “Jesus’ delight in us is now our delight in him. “
In recognising what God has done for us we must accept that other people are more likely to pursue God out of a sense of approval rather than a delight in him. Therefore, the great challenge is help people discover the infinite desire of God’s love and live from the heart of delight God has birthed in us. David, famously declared this in Psalms: –
“Delight in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” – Psalm 37:4
God designed and created you for beauty. He redeemed you for beauty.  You were the delight of his heart, the raging fire of his desire and the eternal joy that ravished his plans. He designed the universe for your benefit, so you could marvel at his vastness, desire his goodness, be captivated by his kindness and bask in his beauty.
Jesus Christ was the glory of God revealed to mankind. He was the delight of God’s desire. Everything that was in God was found in Christ and Christ is the first born of every believer. We have been united into the fullness of Christ; his life is now the life that is alive in our veins.
And just as Jesus was the delight of God, we are now the delight of the Father. You now are covered in beauty eternal, cemented in love, clothed in the glory of God, intertwined with him in union down in the innermost depths of your heart; you exist in love, for love has made its kingdom in your heart.
For the servant came to free us from the lies of the enemy that enslaved, confused and trapped mankind. The lies that took away our value, degraded our beauty and trapped us into a prison of shame. He came to demonstrate the goodness of God, to act in the mercy of God and to touch us with the compassion of God.
The promise of God’s delight is the overflowing grace of God demonstrated to us, that while we were lost he entered our world and revealed the love of God to us in Jesus.
I am going to revisit the story in the Bible of Jesus visiting the home of a man he had raised from the dead and spend a few moments viewing it from a different perspective.
Six days before the Passover celebration began, Jesus arrived in Bethany, the home of Lazarus—the man he had raised from the dead. A dinner was prepared in Jesus’ honour. Martha served, and Lazarus was among those who ate with him. 3 Then Mary took a twelve-ounce jar of expensive perfume made from essence of nard, and she anointed Jesus’ feet with it, wiping his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance. But Judas Iscariot, the disciple who would soon betray him, said, “That perfume was worth a year’s wages. It should have been sold and the money given to the poor.”  Not that he cared for the poor—he was a thief, and since he was in charge of the disciples’ money, he often stole some for himself. Jesus replied, “Leave her alone. She did this in preparation for my burial. You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.” – John 12:1-8 (NLT)
Here Mary in an act of selflessness took her most treasured and expensive perfume and poured it over the feet of Jesus.  And then with her hair wiped his feet clean.  The aroma of the perfume filled the house with a fragrance of gratitude and love.
One of the men in the room immediately objected to this extravagant display and speaking his mind he forcefully let everyone know of his displeasure with the act.  But knowing the motives of his heart, Jesus instructed that the infinite worth of love is far more precious that the measurable value of earthly possessions.
For God is boundless in his love to us.  Mary although she probably did not know it, demonstrated in this selfless act the true heart of God. A God that stoops down and loves his creation. An act of unlimited wealth as she poured out her most treasured possession. An act of self-sacrifice that transcended logic, convention, dignity and worldly values.
For God desires us to break free of the patterns of the world and embrace his abundant life.
This simple act of devotion had eternal consequences for bound in the broken alabaster flask was the sweet aroma of heaven and in the same way Noah offered up his sacrifice of thanking for his deliverance from the ark, Jesus offered himself up at the cross to be our pleasing sacrifice to God.
Paul captured the essence of this life of thanksgiving when he wrote to the Ephesians :-
“Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.” – Ephesians 5:2
Jesus was the fragrance offered to God, the sweet perfume of heaven, the infinite delight of God’s heart. His sacrifice was the final sacrifice, with his one act at the cross all sacrifices were wrapped up in his death. His offering was the perfect fragrance that satisfied and pleased for all time the desire of the Father.
And with the Father’s satisfaction comes the Father’s delight. Because God is satisfied with Christ, He is delighted with his finished work and we are now united in Christ in the delight of the father. God is eternally pleased with us because he is eternally pleased with Christ. The overflow of our heart is the delight God has in his son.
When God looks at Christ he sees him as perfect, holy, righteous, glorious, magnificent, conquering, and victorious, and that is exactly how God views you in Christ.
The fragrance of your heart is the presence of Christ and his delight in you is the aroma that captivates your soul.  It is the delight of God that embraces our senses and enraptures the father with our lives; –
“Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God.  This fragrance is perceived by those who are being saved and by those who are perishing.” – 2 Corinthians 2:15
For Jesus’ delight in us is now our delight in him.
The more we dive in to the delight of God we realise our delight in loving him. For the essence of our relationship with God is a heart of delight in his goodness and grace. To live each moment with a heart bursting with love and a tangible affection that is satisfied with his love. The sacrifice of Christ is the satisfaction of our hearts, it accomplished all the purposes of the Father, it fulfilled all God’s plans and it restored our hearts into the intimacy that we had always wanted.
Delighting in God is the root that reaches into the desire of God and draws from the streams of God’s righteousness. Our heart’s hunger to experience the intimate love of our Father. We long to be connected into an oasis of righteousness.
And what does this hunger and thirst for righteousness look like? It means a vibrant, unhindered, perfect fellowship and union with God. A heart that is no longer guilty, condemned, feeling shameful or tormented with doubt, but is secure in God’s love, is peaceful and is in harmony with the presence of God.
For when delight fills our hearts we realise our perfect union with him and God’s presence seeps through our emotions

Saturday, 12 January 2019

The Magnitude of God's Goodness

Key Scripture – “that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love,  may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—  to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3 : 17-19)
Key Thought  – it is one thing to hear a promise but it is another thing completely transforming when we experience the promise.”
The magnitude of God’s goodness is something that God desperately tried to make his children understand.  His interaction with us was always to demonstrate to us the importance of connecting with him in body, soul and spirit.  This is evident in dramatic intervention in the life of Abraham.  In Genesis God had promised Abraham the land of Canaan for his home. Abraham gave Lot his nephew a choice of this land and Lot chose the best land, or more precisely, the land that was more pleasing to his eyes.  Abraham was left with remainder of the land and God then told Abraham to do something quite extraordinary:
“And the Lord said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him: “Lift your eyes now and look from the place where you are—northward, southward, eastward, and westward;  for all the land which you see I give to you and your descendants forever. And I will make your descendants as the dust of the earth; so that if a man could number the dust of the earth, then your descendants also could be numbered.  Arise, walk in the land through its length and its width, for I give it to you.” – Genesis 3:14 – 17 (NKJV)
At first it is easy to over look over the importance of these verses, but within this passage is one of the keys to understanding Abraham’s confidence in God’s word to him.  For God knew that if Abraham experienced the promise it would fully persuade his mind and his heart that he would keep his word.
The advice to “Arise, walk in the land through its length and its width” is unlocking the door of faith into a heart centred trust in all God has promised. Because it is one thing to hear a promise but it is another thing completely transforming when we experience the promise.
Abraham needed to cement the promise of God into his heart and so with every step he took little by little the promise became reality. He was able to feel the soil beneath his feet, he could smell the sweet aroma of the flowers, touch the rich grass, run each grain of sand through his fingers. He could pick, eat and taste the ripe fruit hanging from the trees; he could see the rich abundance of the land and look from mountain tops and marvel at God’s goodness.  With each step his soul would have been captivated and assured that God was faithful and completely trustworthy.
To put it this way, the experience was so powerful to Abraham that when he shut his eyes he could recall and picture the wonder and beauty of the Promised Land. How did he know the fruit of the land was good? Is it because he was told it? Partly, but it was because he ate it, he could close his eyes and imagine its sweet taste.
In real life it is important to mix our response to God’s promises with the realisation in our lives of all he has given us.  Paul in his letter to the church at Ephesus understood this, and his prayer was a heartfelt conviction that every believer need to know and experience the love of God.
“that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love,  may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—  to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3  : 17-19)
In these remarkable lines, we hear the desire of God; we start to understand the purpose of creation, that we would be able to comprehend the width, length, depth and height of the love of God. That our experience of the love of God would mirror Abraham’s experience of the Promised Land and that we like him would know in our hearts the cosmic transforming love of the father.
The realisation of God’s love is the acknowledgement in our hearts of God’s commitment to us and our loving response to his embrace.

Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Awakening to Love - #16 - Right Relationship

Key Scripture –  “because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.”- Romans 6:7
Key Thought  – “ Our relationship is based not on our performance or will but is rooted and planted in God’s unconditional love to us and the truth that we are made New in Christ. “
To live in New Creation life with Christ is to be in right relationship with every aspect of your life. There is a tendency in our earthly reality to think that relationship is something to get or to have, something to fit into our lives on order to get security or love or pleasure. But this is not true, Christ is relationship. When we come into Christ our old life died and we were raised into New life.
The old life and our old self was irreparable, so God ended that old creation with his death on the cross and started a new creation at the resurrection.  Now no longer do we look at our failures instead I look at the perfection of Christ alive in us.
The relationship we have with God is a personal one to one connection of Christ now dwelling in our hearts.  The moment that we die to our old nature and old life and are resurrected into new life we begin the transformation of our new creation life.  It doesn’t matter what happened to us in the past. It doesn’t matter what conditions and hindrances stand in our way, whether we are rich or poor, or even if we are pessimistic or optimistic. It doesn’t matter how total we are or how sold out we are. Our relationship is based not on our performance or will but is rooted and planted in God’s unconditional love to us and the truth that we are made New in Christ.
The question is not ” How can I live my life now?” but is “How does this New Creation life shine through me?”  Intimacy with Christ alive in me means letting his love fill me, resting in all his grace he has given me, celebrating his joy in accepting me, delighting in his faith in me and thanking him for all his treasure placed inside me. It means letting him love me and accepting his love.
When we know that we are loved with an everlasting love we are on the way to finding who we really are.

Monday, 7 January 2019

Awakening to Love - #15 - New Creation Life

Key Scripture – “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, they are a new creation: old things are passed away; behold, all things are made new.” – 2 Corinthians 5:17
Key Thought  – Those born into His new creation would now become citizens of heaven and belong to heavenly realms. Through the Holy Spirit they would be born again from above, born from God himself. They would be a totally new creation. ”
Everything that exists is invitation to connect with the unconditional love of God and the truth found in Christ.  How we perceive life can alter our outlook on the world around us. We can look at life as a frightening place full of dark corners, hard edges and harsh lessons or a place to behold and experience love in everything that happens. Our outlook determines the nature of our heart to flourish.  The most mundane act becomes a divinely inspired experience when we hold it tenderly in love and open deeply to its truth in this moment.
But it is in this moment when we can get caught up in web of existing and start to feel the pangs of the lie of separation.  The necessity of everyday life, making ends meet, raising a family, enjoying a career is a place where we can easily forget the great story of creation and settle for a story of need. Getting involved in ordinary living has often been portrayed as a distraction from the purposes of God. But in fact, this is just a smokescreen to cloud our minds from the whisper of God.
Embracing everything including all the mundane to all the divine is a healing of our souls to new life in the spirit. You can awaken to unconditional love through all the circumstances, difficulties, challenges and heart breaks of life. You can open up to the truth of Christ even in the midst of everyday tasks and actions. God is right here and is reaching out to you, calling you to come and experience his life in you in all that you feel and do.
It is in the embracing of both the pleasure and pain that you can know the overwhelming presence and power of God alive in your body, soul and spirit.
The journey of this embrace is found in the opening passages of the bible, for out of chaos and darkness God created order and beauty. The universe was created perfect, good and sparklingly new. It was created righteous, beautiful, pure and lovely created in righteousness and true holiness after the image of Him who created it. There was absolutely nothing left of the darkness and chaos the new creation of the universe was there for mankind to see, touch, hear, taste and smell. For mankind to know in a physical experience the spiritual presence and essence of God.
Out of His heart of passion to share his unconditional love he invited the divine nature to embrace and unite with physical nature. It is this embrace that brings about the totality of everything it is his yes to us and our amen to him.
Jesus Christ is the fountain of His creation. For in Christ all things existed and were formed, He was and is the author of creation. And in the same way that He orchestrated the first creation of the cosmos, he entered time and nature and was born a human to bring about a new creation through his death and resurrection. Jesus identified with mankind, he lived his life as human and represented the human race in all he did. He did it so that he could birth a new creation here on earth. A new race of mankind who would be created from the inside with the fullness of the divine and live out a human life from an eternal reality.
This new creation was something that was totally new and unprecedented. He started a whole new realm existence or environment and he created a species of people to live in that environment.  For everything about the new creation is new.
Those born into His new creation would now become citizens of heaven and belong to heavenly realms. Through the Holy Spirit they would be born again from above, born from God himself. They would be a totally new creation.
They would not have to pray for love, for love would be birthed into their hearts. Love would be who they are. They would not have to search for truth for truth would motivate their desires. Truth would flood trough their hearts.
Whether it was washing the dishes, cooking a meal, playing with children or going to work, every circumstance would now be fuelled by the delight of God planted and flourishing in their hearts. Every moment would be an opportunity to connect with this new creation life on the inside.
Everyone could now live a life without one trace of evil, wrong, lusts, doubts and fears. You can live a life where you know the wholeness of creation alive in you. For this new creation means that you will receive the DNA of God and the very life of Christ will become your life.
You will become part of Christ and his life will become the passion and delight of your heart.

Sunday, 6 January 2019

Awakening to Love - #14 - Reconciled

Key Scripture –  “It was God (personally present) in Christ, reconciling and restoring the world to favour with himself, not counting and holding against (men) their sins (but cancelling them), and committing to us the message of reconciliation (of the restoration to favour).” –  2 Corinthians 5 : 19.
Key Thought  – “The eternal reality was reconciled with the earthly reality as God forgave our sin through Jesus’s death on the cross.”
Much of the world in which we are birthed into has been clouded by a veil that has kept God’s grace and love separated from the realty of everyday life. This is true in every situation that we face. For most people, the external quality of their lives is detached from their internal condition, the God who created them has nothing to do with their emotions, feelings and thoughts. It all started with the science of cause and effect, these strict laws have somehow produced a cosmos that functions independently as an enormous, relentless, magnificent machine. It’s detached chilled loneliness echoed through the world and told us that our only consolation was to stand outside of God and look on as helpless wanderers.
But this historic view of life, in which the earthly and the eternal are separate realities, does not make sense in the light of what God has done for us in his death at the cross. In the second letter to the church at Corinth Paul explains it this way,
“But all things are from God, who through Jesus Christ reconciled us to himself (receiving us into favour, brought us into harmony) and gave us the ministry of reconciliation (that by word and deed we might aim to bring others into harmony with him). It was God (personally present) in Christ, reconciling and restoring the world to favour with himself, not counting and holding against (men) their sins (but cancelling them), and committing to us the message of reconciliation (of the restoration to favour). 2 Corinthians 5 : 18-19.
In these remarkable words, we discover the amazing heart of God for us. For here we understand that God is the author of all things. Before time and in time God designed and created all things, the earthly reality was created from the eternal reality, we find that existence is made up of the energy God created, the light he put in place to demonstrate through the cosmos that all realities are interconnected and there is no separation between the created and the spiritual. To put it another way, God in Christ reconciled our earthy reality and restored us to his eternal reality.
In a reconciled universe, it means that God has received us into His favour and brought us back into harmony with Himself. This reconciliation is the good news of the cross, God is not our enemy, He has received us into His family and has repaired the damage sin did to our relationship. And God did this through Christ. God was present in Christ, reconciling and restoring the world back to himself.
This reconciliation means that Christ has restored the whole world back to himself. So this means that without man’s help God has gone ahead and repaired the damage in the relationship, gone ahead and restored us to a place of His favour, a place of harmony with him. On the cross, God cancelled the sin debt of mankind. Through Jesus’s death, God was not counting men’s sin against them. This means that our sin did not keep us from God.
The eternal reality was reconciled with the earthly reality as God forgave our sin through Jesus’s death on the cross. Through Christ we are now received into the embrace of God.

Saturday, 5 January 2019

Awakening to Love - #13 - The Mystery Revealed

Key Scripture  – “God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of Glory.” – Colossians 1:27
Key Thought  – “The unconditional love of God revealed in the truth of Jesus Christ is the only thing that can really heal the world “
Many people equate the journey to awaken their hearts with changing. It is as if we need to add something to our lives to make us fulfilled. And this changing is never complete, like an old house that needs renovation, we see ourselves as a work in progress, which needs constant attention and when if we don’t maintain it we are convinced it will start to deteriorate and eventual fall into ruin. But true awakening is not in a process, but a new life founded and established in your heart by Jesus Christ.
The earthly reality has tried to convince us that to be spiritual we have to do spiritual things. The point we so often miss is that turning out thoughts onto doing things like prayer, fasting and confessions cannot transform our heart. Spiritual performance pervades modern thinking and brings our innermost being into self-effort that eventually opens up avenues of condemnation.
Paul the Apostle describes this heart transformation as a mystery, which was hidden from past ages and generations but has finally been revealed and has been manifested to all who are willing to believe, He describes this in his letter to the Colossians, “God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of Glory.”
God the source of all things, the fountain of all knowledge and the creator of the spiritual realm, enlightens the universe with his desire and will to share his divine plan with everything and everyone. It is here in the heart of God that gives to us his eternal intention which exposes our hearts personal development and seems almost too good to be true.
The thing is, however many Bible verses you might know or devotionals that you might read, unless you receive the truth of this mystery, given in unconditional love, you will be just fooling yourself. So often, searching in other places only creates a deeper sense of separation. For example, many, many times I have started with read the bible in one-year devotional study.  This spiritual discipline seemed just what i needed, I started off happy reading my ‘4’ verses a day. I took every opportunity to make sure I kept on track. But the pressures of work and family encroached on my life, so the bible reading began to slip. The days and weeks passed by and I found myself further and further behind and I eventually I gave up as and I was greeted by a wave of condemnation that became an increasing judgement that made me doubt my salvation and made me feel unloved by the God who gave me unconditional love.
It was clear to me that I thought of God’s love towards me based upon my performance to please him. Behind a spiritual facade, was a heart that wanted to please but didn’t know how to please.
Not only had a placed my performance on a pedestal; but I had placed Gods love to me in the gutter. Unfortunately, I was left stranded on an island that I had created.
It took the grace of God to penetrate the wall of condemnation by jumping from a place of doing to a place of embracing the mystery. Only by diving deep into the mystery of Christ was the spell of separation broken. Only by embracing the truth of God revealed in Christ was my heart transformed. It doesn’t matter whether you are sat under a vaulted ceiling of a magnificent cathedral or stand waiting in the hustle and bustle of a supermarket checkout line, every circumstance provides the opportunity to awaken ourselves to the eternal realty.
The journey of the mystery of God alive inside is found in Christ. So often we look to God to fix the world before we realise that Christ alive inside our hearts, is the hope of glory. We believe that praying for God to do something will make the world a better place. But the truth is that God has already done something, He answered our prayers by sending Christ to become the answer. No amount of effort on our part will make God move, because he has already moved in Christ. If you have not embraced Christ, then how can you fully embrace the unconditional love of God? The unconditional love of God revealed in the truth of Jesus Christ is the only thing that can really heal the world, not more self-effort or more determination to make right triumph over wrong. If you truly being to experience the radiating glory of God, you will find that it begins to make you complete and whole.
God has given the gift of Christ and this gift is now revealed in us. It is Christ in us that makes us rich, it is Christ in us that gives us glory, and it is Christ in us the wonderful gift given freely, Christ is the gift given on God’s initiative from his heart of love and kindness towards us. If you believe God doesn’t love you, you will behave in ways that are unloving towards yourself and so you will experience the world as an unloving place. If you If you believe that God is angry and vengeful, you will always try to get it right so that you protect yourself from his wrath and you will experience life as a punishing place. Your core beliefs, about yourself, others, the world, life and God create your reality. And humanities collective beliefs create the reality we live in. Today’s world is dominated by what we imagine of ourselves, what we create, and what we project. The divisions and barriers we encounter in the world are simply a reflection of the disconnection within our hearts.
Only by turning to the fulfilment of God’s plan for us can our hearts be transformed. And the key to this transformation is the grace of God given to us in Christ is a heart of love in communion and in perfect harmony with him. Our heart needs a revolution that is birthed in deep and intimate relationship that can radiate to light the darkness that surrounds us. When each of us unpacks and receives the gift that God has given to us in Christ.

Friday, 4 January 2019

Awakening to Love - #12 - God's Free Gift

Key Scripture – For the sin of this one man, Adam, brought death to many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of forgiveness to many through this other man, Jesus Christ.” – Romans 5:15
Key Thought – “the free gift of Jesus given to us without obligation, without requirements without stipulations, given freely because God’s heart is to bless and delight in his creation.”
In order to awaken our hearts to our real identity, we need to stop and breathe and enter into a new direction.  It starts with opening our minds and moves to connecting with that whisper that pursues us. We often think that the latest technological gadget or foreign holiday will make us happy, or that joining a local interest group will make us feel connected or working hard to get the most out of our career will make us more fulfilled. But although these may improve our outlook in the temporary, these are in reality little distractions that stand in the way of connecting with God and finding our real self’s.  I am all too aware in my own life of how tempted I am to reach out in times of stress and take comfort in the things easily accessible instead of stopping and listening to the whisper inside.
When we start to listen to the whisper and connect with the voice that pursues us, we come to realise that to be complete, we need to discover the value and acceptance of love demonstrated to us by God.
Most of us live in an earthly reality in which we are increasingly aware of how we look, what we wear and the image we portray. The ever increasing tide of social media pressure has created a realm where we can project an image of ourselves where we can get attention by every possible means. The realty of this is that our lives revolve, and our value is determined by the attention we attract. And this world sees everything in terms of gain or loss, so we endeavour to get as much as we can for me and mine from other people, from life and ultimately from God.
In this earthy reality, we interact with each other with unconscious transactions, to make us feel valued and accepted. Just take a look at ‘Facebook’ with its posts of, “type Amen is you agree with this today” or “Share this if you really care!”  When it comes to interaction with those around us we accumulate, status, money, and consumer products in order to make ourselves feel more complete. When it comes to happiness, we try to make the most of all we have in the effort to ensure that we get every last drop of satisfaction we can before it is too late. And when it comes to God, we pray the He gives us what we want so that we don’t have to face the terror of our earthy reality.
Living with this earthly reality means you are forever chasing after something that confirms your value and acceptance, as you cling on to try to guard everything you need. But here is the real conundrum of life; however, much love, money or status you acquire from the world around you, none of it will fill the hole you feel inside. The love, worth, value and acceptance you need are actually found in a different reality.
The awakening of our hearts requires us to listen to the soft whisper inside. Allowing all that God is to connect with our deepest being, to rest in the moment and turn our thoughts inwards and start to see with the eyes of faith.  It is here in the field of faith that we take our eyes off ourselves, off the things that consume our thoughts and the possibilities of heaven start to illuminate our darkness. It is a journey of immense proportions, it is an adventure beyond our imaginings, it is one of cosmic possibilities, it is the path that goes from our head to our heart. It is a realignment from an earthy reality to a divine, eternal reality.
In an eternal reality, there is no separation between us and God, or between you and Jesus Christ, there is only the divine overflow of all God is in Jesus Christ in me and everything that exists is now a manifestation of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and we are filled, feed and nurtured by the grace of God. It is here in the grace of God that we find true love, true worth, true value and true acceptance. The real treasure that we seek is that which is freely given and cannot be earned or lost. And this jewel of the eternal reality is the free gift of Jesus given to us without obligation, without requirements without stipulations, given freely because God’s heart is to bless and delight in his creation.
Living in an eternal reality doesn’t mean that we hide ourselves away from everything around us. We don’t need to deny ourselves the pleasures and delights in life nor insolate ourselves from our family and friends. What living in an eternal reality means is that we can enjoy the full height, depth, breath and width of life as it is happening, we can know the power and presence of the love of God, we can demonstrate the grace of God in everything we do and we can face circumstances without fear and without despair.
Far from being mundane and dry, life in the eternal reality is richer and more delightful.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...